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Padres challenged by Sandoval's coverage of strike zone


SAN DIEGO -- Whenever the Padres face the Giants, manager Bud Black seems to field a question about San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

Last week, as the Giants swept a three-game series from the Padres at AT&T Park, Sandoval had three hits -- including a home run -- and knocked in three runs.

For his career, Sandoval is a .294/.357/.498 hitter with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs in 279 at-bats facing the Padres.

Black would just as soon not see him bat -- with or without runners on base.

"We face him a lot," Black said. "At times, he can be streaky. We've seen him hotter, we've seen him colder."

Sandoval, a switch-hitter known for having a big strike zone, homered from the left side last week on a fastball on the inside corner. Later in the series, hitting right-handed, he took a changeup away and down in the strike zone -- almost on the ground down -- and rolled it into center field for an RBI.

"In the present day, he's at the top of the class of hitters who can hit balls outside the strike zone hard," Black said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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